New book announcement from Liverpool University Press


Biopunk Dystopias: Genetic Engineering, Society and Science Fiction

By Lars Schmeink


'Biopunk Dystopias' contends that we find ourselves at a historical nexus, defined by the rise of biology as the driving force of scientific progress, a strongly grown mainstream attention given to genetic engineering in the wake of the Human Genome Project (1990-2003), the changing sociological view of a liquid modern society, and shifting discourses on the posthuman, including a critical posthumanism that decenters the privileged subject of humanism. The book argues that this historical nexus produces a specific cultural formation in the form of "biopunk", a subgenre evolved from the cyberpunk of the 1980s. The analysis deals with dystopian science fiction artifacts of different media from the year 2000 onwards that project a posthuman intervention into contemporary socio-political discourse based in liquid modernity in the cultural formation of biopunk. Biopunk makes use of current posthumanist conceptions in order to criticize contemporary reality as already dystopian, warning that a future will only get worse, and that society needs to reverse its path, or else destroy all life on this planet. As Rosi Braidotti argues, "there is a posthuman agreement that contemporary science and biotechnologies affect the very fibre and structure of the living and have altered dramatically our understanding of what counts as the basic frame of reference for the human today". The proposed book analyzes this alteration as directors, creators, authors, and artists from the field of science fiction extrapolate it from current trends.


'A comprehensive, meticulously researched, and wide-ranging intervention in the union between genetic discourse and contemporary science fiction that has the potential to be very influential in the field.'

Professor Gerry Canavan, Marquette University


'An important intervention into the ways sf studies is done - it is no longer even remotely credible to treat sf as just a literary genre - and the strengths of this book makes that argument more effectively than any polemic about the transmediality of sf.' 

Mark Bould, University of the West of England



Liverpool Science Fiction Texts and Studies 56

HB ISBN: 9781781383766

December 2016

288 pages

75.00 - (currently 50% off in our Christmas sale until December 16th, 37.50 with code christmas50)



Please find Biopunk Dystopias and other Science Fiction Texts and Studies online at




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